The Shoemaker clan has been sailing around the East Coast since the 1600s, making the family as native to South Carolina as the state's alligators and seaside bluffs resembling John C. Calhoun. After inheriting an in-depth aquatic knowledge from his father, who spent 25 years as a commercial fisherman, Captain Chris Shoemaker—a Coast Guard–licensed captain—conveys that love of the water to even more generations by leading fishing, shrimping, and crabbing excursions on his 24-foot Carolina Skiff boat. Collectively known as May River Excursions, Captain Chris and his crew make twice-daily trips to Daufuskie Island, a rustic, historical idyll with a single schoolhouse, dirt roads, and wild bald eagles, armadillos, and alligators that still comprise the island's local constabulary. The guides also lead regular 90-minute tours along the May River in search of ospreys, egrets, and dolphins, always including a history lesson about the country surrounding the towns of Bluffton and Hilton Head.
With a sea of bent grass greens, picturesque ponds, and strategically placed hazards, Rose Hill's immaculate course provides championship-level challenges for putting pilgrims. Whether you’re a seasoned golfing veteran or a neophyte just learning the proper way to wear a plaid monocle, Rose Hill's 1,250-yard, par-3 golf course welcomes all skill levels. Traverse and travail through the challenges with a friend, a loved one, or a pale-eyed stranger that resembles Rutger Hauer. After all, golf with friends is the best kind of bonding. There's nothing like being out in the open air, hearing the wind blow through the beautiful old trees lining the well-groomed fairways, and refusing to grant your compadres mulligans. The satisfaction of a well-played hole is amplified by the enjoyment you get from your partner's three-shot spectacle in the woodsy rough. If golf is your cup of tee, call ahead to schedule your tee time.
Daufuskie Discoveries creates opportunities to explore Daufuskie Island's lush, historic habitat with customized guided or private outings. An enclosed or open-air water taxi quickly shuttles small groups from Hilton Head or Savannah to the island's three-mile stretch of sandy beach in 30 minutes, with captains tossing out facts about Calibogue Sound and Cooper River. Customers disembark and board their conveyance of choice—golf cart, boat, or shoes—before bursting through the tree line into specific isle regions, such as Bloody Point, which houses the Bloody Point Cemetery and Bloody Point Lighthouse & Silver Dew Winery. Three-hour private cruises skirt the coastline as a guide artfully describes the sun dipping beneath marshes as a hot air balloon deflated by a stampeding herd of storks.
At Dancing Dogs Yoga, community springs from vibrant routines of bends and balances. Here, owner Shelley Lowther and a team of seasoned instructors cultivate a nurturing environment with warm greetings and personal attention. As a trainee of Baron Baptiste—a trailblazer in the world of power Vinyasa yoga—Shelley has built the studio around athletic, breath-fueled poses that bolster strength, flexibility, and focus. The signature Baptiste power Vinyasa routines unfold in an 85- to 90-degree room designed to deepen stretches and evict toxins. To help beginners build a sturdy yogic foundation, Basics classes place an extra emphasis on pose alignment. Yin sessions explore yoga’s softer side with lengthy, floor-based poses, and massage therapy melts lingering tension with strokes as soothing as a bathrobe made of chamomile flowers. When she’s not teaching classes in Beaufort or Bluffton, Shelley records yoga-themed podcasts, helms community-outreach initiatives, and serves as an ambassador for the Africa Yoga Project.
Sculpted through a distinct landscape of lush pines, mature oaks, and tranquil waterways, Golden Bear Golf Club’s Jack Nicklaus–designed course stretches across 7,014 yards of challenging, scenic terrain. The semiprivate course puts a high premium on precise course management with a parkland-style layout of tight fairways, white-sand bunkers, and omnipresent water hazards that subsist on the life force of ill-struck golf balls. The club’s driving range fosters preround warm-ups, and nimble carts help players complete their rounds more efficiently than piggyback rides from a caddie. Resident aces occupy the club’s pro shop, ready to assist in equipment upgrades or offer up a variety of lessons and services. The club also has stately dining facilities that provide an ideal venue for indoor meatball-putting competitions.
Course at a Glance: